How to Work with Stakeholders as a PM

Apart from the day to day responsibilities, PMs must learn the skill of partnering with stakeholders. Stakeholder management is a highly underrated skill that’s often overlooked in favor of the immediate things, but truly great product managers are masters at communicating well to stakeholders and making sure that stakeholders are on board with the product vision and delivery plan.

What are stakeholders and why is it so important to make sure they’re on your side? Let’s break it down.

A project stakeholder is any person in the company who has the influence to impact your product. An easy way to identify stakeholders is figuring out whether they have veto power – these interested parties have the potential to make or break your plans for release.

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Product Manager Weekly Reading #27

Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management!

1) 4 Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Career in Product

Peter Casinelli, software engineer at Hubspot, lays out 4 important questions to ask yourself before starting a career in product.

2) Product Managers Don’t Own the Problem

Teresa Torres, Product Coach and Founder at Product Talk, breaks down how to build shared responsibility for product delivery between product managers and designers.

3) The Design Process That Helped Us Ship a New Product in 11 Weeks

Jonathan Meharry, Product Designer at Hubspot, reveals the design process he uses for smart product design that simplifies problems and frees up engineers to ship even faster without sacrificing quality.

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Product Manager Weekly Reading #26

Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management!

1) Roadmaps Without the Drudgery

Noah Weiss, VP of Product Management at Foursquare, explains Foursquare’s light-weight approach to product roadmaps.

2) Waterfall vs. Agile Software Development

Joanna Chmiel, Co-Owner of Briisk, explains the difference between two popular development methods and how to decide which method to utilize for your product.

3) The Story of a Product Built Entirely in Public

Austin Smith, Platform Evangelist at Assembly, reveals the development process of Helpful, a support tool with shared ownership built in public.

4) How Testing Simple Landing Page Elements Yielded a Triple-Digit Improvement

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Feature Prioritization 101

One of the most important responsibilities of a product manager is feature prioritization. What is feature prioritization? Our last post covered story prioritization using sizing and estimation – in this post we’ll zoom back out to the product roadmap, and start with the company itself.

Feature prioritization is planning out the order of features your team works on, based on your product roadmap. It’s important to prioritize features because you have limited time and money and too many potential features. Sitting down and figuring out which features to work on and at what point of your schedule is absolutely necessary to prevent delays and a poorly executed product.

There are many ways to approach feature prioritization, but regardless of approach, keep this piece of advice in mind: Product managers should prioritize features based on the overall product strategy. In other words, don’t lose sight of the goal! If your product is meant to solve the problem of providing online educational opportunities to low-income students, it makes sense that all features you vet should match that product strategy.

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Product Manager Weekly Reading #25

Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management!

1) How to Create a Solid Wireframe for Your Design Team

Chelsea Baldwin, former app development company executive, breaks down how to create a wireframe that will make it easy to work with an external designer to produce an incredible app.

2) Peacetime PM / Wartime PM

Noah Weiss, VP of Product Management at Foursquare, lays out the differences between what great product managers do when they are at peace vs. at war.

3) Becoming a Product VP that Founders Can Trust

Hunter Walk, Partner at Homebrew and previous Product Lead at Youtube, interviews Foursquare’s Noah Weiss on Foursquare app’s recent split and provides advice for students breaking into product management as a career.

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Product Manager Weekly Reading #24

Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you learn more about product management!

1) How Photo App One Minute Grew to Over 22K Users In Just 10 Days

Katelan Cunningham, Editor at Brit + Co, reveals how Alex Kwon, founder of OneMinute, tested, built, and grew his app to 22K users in just 10 days.

2) Pre-totyping to Determine Product-Market Fit

In this interview, Alberto Savoia, former engineering director at Google, discusses the concept of “pre-totyping” (not prototyping) and how seed-stage startups might adopt it to find product-market fit more cheaply and effectively.

3) The Man Behind MakerBot on Finding Stories that Build Your Brand

Bre Pettis, founder of MakerBot, shares lessons from years of startup storytelling on crafting a foundational narrative to build your brand.

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